The National Election Committee (NEC) heard the last five remaining election complaints
on September 10 and 11. The cases were filed by the election monitoring organization
Comfrel, the Cambodian People's Party (CPP) and the Sam Rainsy Party (SRP). It marked
the end of the NEC's hearings.
On September 10, the NEC ruled against SRP deputy secretary general Meng Rita about
a five million riel ($1,250) fine imposed by the Kep Provincial Election Committee
(PEC). Rita was charged with defamation for calling a provincial security official
a "Vietnamese puppet" . He walked out of the hearing room immediately after
The NEC also ruled on two decisions made by the PEC in Kampong Cham.
Comfrel won a complaint against CPP commune council chief Hun Hieng for preventing
a Comfrel representative from renting video equipment to screen election education
materials. The NEC deleted Hieng from the voting roster for five years.
In another case, Sam Rainsy challenged the validity of a 10 million riel ($2,500)
fine levied against him for charges of vote buying among 66 families. NEC chairman
Im Suosdey stated that the PEC had made legal mistakes and the money was actually
given to people for the purpose of flood relief. The fine was voided.
The second hearing on September 11 overturned two decisions made by the PEC in Kampong
In one case, the SRP was fined five million riel ($1,250) for interfering with a
CPP campaign rally after two foreigners removed microphones from the party's sound
equipment. The plaintiffs were absent during the hearing, but the NEC struck down
The second case involved two CPP village chiefs who sought to overturn a PEC decision
that deleted them from the voting lists for five years. Both of the plaintiffs agreed
to drop their complaints following negotiations.
NEC received a total of 389 complaints during the election period. The SRP filed
297 of those, the most out of any party. It rejected 110 complaints as they did not
meet the NEC's legal criteria. In addition, 1,804 complaints were resolved by the
country's 24 PECs. The Constitutional Council dismissed three brought to it by Funcinpec
and the SRP because it declared them beyond the scope of their "competence"
Comfrel executive director Koul Panha praised the NEC's efforts to prevent election
violations, but said not enough attention was paid to complaints related to politics,
vote counting and voter registration.
"For serious cases, the NEC dares not to use its power," he said. "Parties
don't trust it." He added that the NEC performed better in this election than
the last vote in 1998.